In March, the Journal of Science Signaling published a study that found that Vitamin E does have the potential to fight certain types of cancer, and it may also prevent cancer. Researchers have long thought that vitamin E had the potential to do this, but the new study results are promising for many.
Scientists discovered that when they manipulated the vitamin E found typically through foods that contain tocopherols so that it became much more concentrated, it actually cut off the activation of the enzyme known as Akt. Akt is essential for cancer to live, so when vitamin E was used on prostate cancer tumors, the tumors actually began to disappear.
While this is exciting research, the study’s author, Ching-Shih Chen, investigator in Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at The Ohio State University cautions that this is only the beginning. The strength of the vitamin E used in the study is far higher than the body can absorb.
According to Chen, “Our goal is to develop a safe pill at the right dose that people could take every day for cancer prevention. It takes time to optimize the formulation and the dose.”
He also warns that people should not feel that they are preventing cancer when they take their over the counter supplements as these are most often synthetic and will not be an effective way to treat cancer.
However, other experts feel that it certainly cannot hurt to make sure to get enough vitamin E. It is typically found in foods such as almonds and almond oil, peanuts, sunflower oil and sunflower seeds, asparagus, oats, coconut, tomatoes, carrots, goats milk, olive oil, peanut oil and walnut oil, as well as many other types of foods.
It is a fat soluble vitamin, which means that it is possible to overdose on it, so it’s essential that no more than the recommended dosage be taken, unless directed by a health care provider.
The antioxidant properties of vitamin E do have the potential to stop free radical damage. It has been found to help prevent sunburn; fight PMS and painful menstruation; aid in infertility, in men; offset some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s; heal damage to the skin from radiation or sun burn; heal scars; prevent blood clots; as well as an aid in maintaining a strong immune system and potentially reducing the risk for certain types of cancers.
Vitamin E oils may also be helpful in everything from preventing moisture loss, to healing scars, as well as encouraging cellular turnover and acting as an anti-aging treatment for many. As an oil, vitamin E may be effective at preventing skin problems such as fine lines, age spots, freckles and even acne.
Experts agree that any vitamin should be first obtained through diet, and supplemented if necessary. For those that think they might benefit from supplementing vitamin E in their diet, it is a good idea to run in by a health care provider to see what he or she recommends.